Our self-help Q&A columnist Athena Laz is a qualified psychologist and the author of You’ve Got This. She’s on a mission to help you clarify your purpose so that you can move onwards and upwards in life. You can see her work here.
How to feel more supported
I’m generally an anxious person and lately my career hasn’t been going so well. The problem is that my boyfriend puts me under even more pressure to immediately have all the answers and a plan – which I don’t have right now. The whole thing just makes me feel more alone and frustrated. So not only is work hard right now, but so is my home life! Please assist me in this change because my anxiety is sky-rocketing and I just feel bad all the time.’ – Emily
It sounds like an incredibly tough time for you. Adjusting to major changes is never easy and having the added pressure of an unsupportive partner can feel even more disheartening. Prolific self-help author Gabriella Bernstein has a powerful antidote for this and that is to ask yourself the following question: are you supporting yourself? I like to add on to this question and ask: how can you support yourself even better? On some level, you may feel that your partner’s pressurising statements are fair (this may stem from a place of guilt for not having everything figured out) and so you do not stand up for yourself. Learning to support yourself starts with acknowledging how you feel and then communicating this directly to him. Your partner may not even realise that his behaviour is making you feel anxious and isolated, so approach the conversation with an open heart and mind. Then ask yourself how you can support yourself further. Our mind health is so important. When our internal thoughts are supportive, our exterior world becomes supportive too. So become mindful of what you are thinking and saying about yourself and the situation that you have found yourself in. Change your internal narrative and watch your external reality change accordingly.
4 steps in supporting yourself better
- Acknowledge your feelings and then voice them.
- Give yourself the time and space to figure out what you want.
- Ask for help.
- Take action!
Lastly, any major change can evoke anxiety, so please feel free to download my free stress-release audio here. It’s designed to leave you feeling relaxed and at ease.
If you have a question for Athena, e-mail or tweet her. You can follow Athena here and see more of her work at Athenalaz.com. You can also receive her free audio course, designed to help you move from stuck to success in five simple steps.